Tony's Paradigm non-intellectual States
As your Raw Etymologist....please review, bookmark...share..
Don't feel offended when charged with Ignorance, it simply means....
Dumb = Not knowing even when explained
Stupid = Knowing, but not accepting
Idiot = Knowing, not accepting, AND spewing the converse.....(tv)
Question ...which on describes Liberals?
This paper is playing around with a conceit: two senses of the term "know". However, it is all in a professional cause.
The two senses are those of:
- awareness of self, (represented by the vertical red line in the diagram below) and
- knowledge of the world (the horizontal blue line)
Laing's poetic exploration of its interpersonal convolutions cited above (it goes on for another 21 pages), and the citation of the idea by Neighbour (1992) credited as an Arabic proverb demonstrate that it has a considerable provenance.
Not knowing you don't know
The first possibility is that of being unaware that you don't know something. This is the "ignorance is bliss" state, enjoyed by everyone who pontificates about politics in pubs. It is also the position of many people on "soft" occupations (such as teaching, or social work) which look from the outside as if "any fool could do it". (Some do.) And it is engendered by consummate professionals who make what they do look easy (such as plasterers and chefs and popular novelists and...).
Many students start from this position, and although the Neighbor proverb calls them "fools", it is not really fair. Let's go on —
So the first move is often to make learners aware of their ignorance. This is tricky, in practice. Unless they are a captive audience it is quite easy to frighten them off. (It is also quite seductive, because it is a chance to show off your own level of knowledge or competence.) On the other hand, it is a crucial step in developing motivation to learn.
There are various ways of doing it.
- The German teacher's name was Roger Baker (in the unlikely event that he wants to look himself up on the web)In my first German lesson, a young teacher recited a poem to us in German: it sounded great, but we couldn't understand a word of it, of course. He didn't really need to do it, because we already knew we didn't know any of it apart from a couple of phrases picked up from war films. He was trying to show what we might aspire to, and went on to explain that. (It must have made an impact because I can remember the lesson fifty years later.)
- You can ask a student (usually either one who is a bit full of himself and needs to be "taken down a peg", or one who is mature enough not to be humiliated) to do something practical in the certainty that he will fail. Only do this if you are confident that when you do it, as you will be challenged to, you can manage it yourself.
- You can pose a problem which has a seemingly simple answer (political, economic, legal—or in Neighbour's case, medical), and then show the problems in reaching that simple solution, which stem from ignorance of the context.
- In continuing professional development courses in particular, you may be challenging survival-oriented practice in which people have a substantial vested interest: this is the key to the whole un-learning/learning process. See Learning as Loss for more on this.
- Unless you have to do it, don't. Many learners (particularly those who have signed up for your course of their own free will) are only too aware of what they don't know. The last thing they need is for you to rub it in.
- Skill in this area is of course a core competence for charlatans. Whether self-help gurus who must convince you of your personal inadequacy or potential ill-health, religious proselytizers who must convict you of sins only they believe are sinful, or salespeople who have to create a "need" for their product, they all have to manage this stage. Study and learn from them—just don't believe them.
- A specialist variation on this is
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